Set goals with heart: a guide to making goals that you can’t help but achieve


Before I became a life coach, I was making, changing, and striving to achieve goals constantly. From spiritual goals, to health goals, to reading a certain number of pages in a book a day- I was always on the hunt for the next thing that would help me achieve my dreams and be the person I wanted to be. Unfortunately I rarely achieved the goals and made a lot of excuses.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t motivated or driven. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to achieve the goal, it was that the goals I made were holding me back.

Ever made a goal that sounded like one of these?

“Stop being so hard on myself.”

“Lose 10lbs and be beach-body ready.”

“Cut out sweets, carbs, meat, gluten, and dairy.”

“Remove toxic people and make better friends.”

All of these goals are:

  • fear based
  • more like a demand; requiring striving, pain, and a lot of work.
  • negative and uninspiring.
  • without vision.
  • they make you feel heavy and weighed down from the start.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a goal that makes you giddy, excited, and look forward to the day you achieve it? There are a few tips and tricks I use with my clients to get them to that place, and I want to share them with you.



Use these tools TO make goals you can’t help but achieve:


Figure out who you are and what you really want. A few ways I like to do this are by meditating, journaling (use my free journaling guide meant for this exact purpose!), or by talking with my coach.

Heart-centeredness is about the deep, core values and desires, when not aligned with our lives, leave us feeling unfulfilled. Heart-centeredness is a state of peace in which life is aligned. It is when the choices we make line up with our values and our deepest desires.


What is it that you want? In order to make clear and inspiring goals, you must know what it is you’re aiming for. Sure, you want to lose 10lbs, but what is the deeper goal behind that? How do you want to feel when you’ve achieved your goal weight? What do you want your life to be like in 6 months? What will change when your goal is met?

Danielle Laporte calls this your “core desired feeling.” It is the feeling underneath your goals, it’s the heartbeat of why you want what you want. Getting clear on your core desires will help you emotionally relate with your goal.


Allow yourself to envision what life will be like when you achieve your goal and get really comfortable with it. Imagine what living out your “core desired feeling” would actually be like. Many of us create goals that we don’t believe we will achieve, even if we want to achieve them. Visualizing what life will be like when you achieve your goal is a great tool for when you’re unsure you have what it takes.

PRACTICE: Close your eyes and envision your life in one year. What are you doing? Who are you with? What does your life feel like? Get connected to your vision and start to see it as a real possibility. This will help you train your brain to a new normal- you’re getting connected to the reality that your goal will come true.


The words you choose when making your goals are very important. Words give life and meaning to our desires, and when you have strong desires for your future, the words you choose should reflect that. Keep the words in your goal positive and inspiring.




Everything you’ve thought through, as you’ve gotten clear about and envisioned, write it down. Seeing it visually and getting your thoughts onto paper will help you reinforce your clarity and connection to what you want. When you land on the goal you want, write it down and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day.

            PRO TIP: Put your goal in your car, or make it your phone background!


You don’t need to post your goal on Facebook or instagram to have accountability; in fact, I would discourage you from shouting it from the mountaintops. Instead, find one or two people who can hold you to your goal, encourage, and support you. These people can be a best friend, a partner, or a coach. (It’s best if this supportive person cares about you, but is not personally invested in you achieving your goal- this way your support is not biased, and their emotions won’t get in the way.)


Nothing is worse than working towards a goal that makes you feel inadequate. You will face road bumps because goals stretch us and ask us to step into our highest selves. Stay loving towards yourself. Give yourself compassion. Reward yourself for progress and keep track of your successes!

Setting goals with heart will not only help you create more meaningful goals (and ultimately a more meaningful life), it will help you achieve your goals with ease. Apply my goal setting tips and let me know how it goes for you; maybe even revisit your current goals and tweak them a bit!

I can't wait to hear how you supercharged your goals by adding a little heart. 




I would be happy to support you on your goal-setting journey in a 30 minute clarity call, helping you get clear on your goals and giving you a boost of energy to get going towards them! Oh, and it’s free. Reserve your 30 minute call here.


If you are in Springfield, MO come The Bravery Board this Saturday 10am-noon at Culture C-Street. Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess and Bravery Board co-founder Kate Alsup are giving their expert advice on goal setting. Grab your tickets here.

The Bravery Board is a local passion project I co-founded in March. We host monthly gatherings on topics related to mental wellness, personal growth, and thriving in community. It is a great place to get connected and be inspired. If you’re not local, you can still join the fun! Listen to past speeches here.

The secret to finding peace in an angry world


Passion drives my business and life.  There was a season, however, that my passion for helping others was tainted. My passion showed up as anger, and inspiration was driven by resentment. I’m talking about the kind of passion for world change rooted in pain, hurt, and anger at people in my past.

Where is the root of your passion? We talk about it a lot, but where does it come from and how should we channel it into something that is fruitful and healthy?

Passion has a dark side.

The biggest ah-ha for me was realizing that passion has a dark side- anger and bitterness. For a long time, my passion for helping women was rooted in anger at men. Justly, I wanted to help women overcome and live their best, because men in my life held women down. Past abuse and pain I had not dealt with birthed a passion in me to help women triumph over their past and really thrive.

"An angry generation can't bring peace." -Marianne Williamson

Boy, have I spent time hating on men, hating on what’s wrong with the systems, and how people hurt me. Anger propelled me into mental wellness as a career, but it didn’t sustain me. Frustration would show up in my writing, bitterness in my conversations. I decided that I wanted to spread light and love, not anger and pain.  Even though angry people can (and do) make a difference, they can never bring peace. Anger always produces more anger. Love always produces more love.

The secret: forgiveness

If you want to create a more loving, empowered world, you first must empower yourself… through forgiveness. Forgiveness is not cookie cutter, and it is not a one time thing. So often, we want to hurry over the process because it is uncomfortable to feel pain or sadness.

You must learn to feel the pain of what is not forgiven.

Map it out if you need to. A skill I have recently developed from leadership coach, Chris Lee, is writing down all the ways I am hurting and the people I believe it is connected to. I acknowledge the pain and the hurt, but I don’t stay there forever. The same process can be done when you need to forgive yourself as well! 

Sometimes, the weight of certain pains are too much to carry alone, and we do need to seek the help of a professional. When I realized some of my unforgiveness was rooted much deeper than I could handle alone, I spent one year regularly seeing a counselor trained in EMDR and an emotional freedom technique. I learned a lot of tools and ways to continue to forgive that I still use today.

What makes you fiery and passionate?

Is your drive to change the world because of past pain? Most passion does come from an injustice and the desire to fix it. Keep that passion, but make it pure through forgiveness.

If you are struggling with forgiveness and are beating yourself up about it, start by forgiving yourself. Forgiveness is a daily journey that frees YOU to live a more abundant life. Free yourself from anger and watch your passions blossom.

Your turn. 

Share your story in the comments. I can't wait to hear how you are making the journey from anger to passion.

PS. If this hit home for you, share with your friends on Facebook. I would love to connect with more women who are wanting to live a bigger, more abundant life, and you never know who is ready to heal, forgive, and come alive. 

Much love, -Madison.


Who needs a life coach, anyway? 5 traits all my clients share


Life coaching, who the heck needs it!? It isn't counseling. It isn't exactly mentorship... so, who is it for? Today I want to lay out what I look for in my clients. If you are considering coaching as an option for your own life, read through these and see if any of them resonate with you!  

1. Someone who is ready to take action:

People who get the most from coaching are people who recognize there is more for them. They know there is untapped potential inside themselves and are eager to grow. They are sick and tired of the same-old and are ready to come alive in new ways. 

2. Someone in the midst of a big change

Many of my clients are in the midst of big changes in life or are coming out of a season of big change. From divorce, to breakups, to moving cities, to job changes; change in life often brings big lessons and clarity which would not have come otherwise. I have seen my clients grow and stretch in those times like never before, and I know from watching it in my clients and seeing a coach myself, that having support brings massive clarity which otherwise happens more slowly. 

3. Someone who wants to overcome old thought patterns

This is probably the foundation for all of my work as a coach. Seeing my clients overcome fear, shame, and step into their new ways of thinking brings me so much joy. Once you change your mind, your actions and life follow. When my clients say things like "I'm so ready for a change" or "I just can't live in this rut anymore," I know that they are a perfect candidate for coaching. 

4. Someone who wants to be their best

A client of mine recently said that she feels like I am her ballet teacher. Although she is very skilled in self awareness and is great at taking care of herself, she knows from experience in performance how having a coach, practicing, reflecting, and having an outside perspective is what makes good, great.

(Coaching isn't meant to make you someone you're not, it helps you become YOUR best. It's the fine tuning, the support, and the perspective to keep you on the path you want to go on. It's helping your dance YOUR dance your best)

5. Someone who is willing to do the work.

Most people desire confidence, a healthy lifestyle, and amazing relationships. But unfortunately, most people do not actively seek those things out. The women I work with are done letting life pass them by. They know the only time to make those changes is today. They don't let life slip through their fingertips, they take life by the... steering wheel. 

If you have more questions about coaching, what it is and who it is for, be sure to read more here. 


If you are ready to take life by the (you know) and really come alive to your best, book a 30 minute with me. It's free, it's non-committal, and it will give you a lot of clarity about what coaching can do for you.  

What I’ve learned so far: what they don’t tell you about following your passion.

I am a life coach, I own my own business, I am paving the way to my dreams every day through blogging, using social media, and taking new clients. It’s growing steadily and I am SO happy about it.

But there is a side I also want to address. In reality, businesses like coaching take time. Building a brand and becoming known for what you do is a slow and steady building of momentum. If you are not careful when launching a passion project, you can get burnt out before you even truly begin.  Building a reputation, being consistent, and becoming amazing at your trade--these things take serious hustle. But that’s not what I’m going to post about today.

Here are three areas people rarely talk about when they discuss their passions:


Know your bigger life theme.

I know my passion. And it isn’t coaching. My passion is a deeper life theme, it is the thing I want my life to be about. Some business people call it your “why” or even your “vision.” I like calling it a life theme because no matter what I do, I want the same theme to be the thread that weaves through each season, each career, and each relationship.

I wrote out my own personal life theme recently and this is what it sounds like, “to live my life in vibrancy, truth, and authenticity, and help others come alive.”

I can and will do that in many ways throughout my life. In this season, I do it through coaching and blogging. But I also do it as a wife, as a friend, and in my part-time job.

My life theme helps me show up in all areas as my best.  I know what I want my life to reflect, so I am able to show up at my serving job AND as a coach and be my best. I can help people come alive no matter where I am. I can live in vibrancy, truth, and authenticity no matter where I am, and that gives me credibility.

Be your best.

Being your best is tricky and relative. Our best changes from season to season, and we are able to give different amounts at different times. That is normal, human, and expected. The key is not to be perfect, but to strive for excellence; for your best in the moment you are in. I am always attempting to act as my best self, to filter my response through the lens of my life theme.

Being your best self on purpose is actually a skill. It takes the ability to self reflect without judgement, be thoughtful and assume the best, and it takes self control. It is choosing to respond in the most loving, mature way you can.  It is aligning your life with your values and your life theme. It is honoring your yes and your no. It is you becoming better with small choices every day, choosing healthy thoughts, and mature actions which align with your life theme.

Become a Servant.

Sounds fun, doesn’t it!? Be a person who offers an insane amount of value.  You can start doing this in areas like at home, at the office, or in your passion project.  Something I am committed to in my business is offering educational, inspiring and relevant content for free to the people who read my blog and are on my email list. This does sometimes come at a sacrifice. It takes time, it takes consistent growth on my part, and integrity of living what I put out into the world.

What does this look like in your life? How can you be a person who offers value?

What ways can you bring value to your daily life, in and outside work?

Here are a few simple ideas anyone can implement today to be successful at following your passions

Be interested in people.

This means asking questions, listening well, commenting back on social media platforms, and thanking people for the good you see them doing. Pay attention, people are always communicating ways they need you.

Give more than is asked of you, or do what you do with excellence.

Consider how you can go above and beyond a person's expectations. One way I do this is by remembering birthdays or other important dates and sending cards, flowers, or texts. Be creative with what you do, and who you do it for. A short list would be friends, clients, and supporters, but you could even extend this to service personnel, your neighbors, your co-workers, and even former teachers and employers.

Know your deeper reason.

The hustle of following a passion is real, but the reality of knowing the deeper reason behind your life, the growth that comes from being your best, and the magnetic pull people feel toward people who offer value, that is the good stuff.

Try it out, your hustle may become much more enjoyable, and much more passionate.

*Post originally published on The Bravery Board blog.

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